Epidemiology

Numerous foodborne and waterborne outbreaks of C. jejuni have been reported, involving as many as 3,000 people. Most cases, however, are sporadic. Like the salmonellas, C. jejuni lives in the intestines of a variety of domestic animals. Poultry is a common source of infection, and as many as 89% of raw poultry products have harbored the organism. One drop of juice from raw chicken meat can easily contain an infectious dose. Cats have also been implicated as a source. Epidemics have resulted from ingesting unpasteurized cow and goat milk and from drinking non-chlorinated surface water. Despite its low infectious dose, person-to-person spread of C. jejuni rarely occurs.

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